Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Discharging My Duties

As a Registered Dietitian, I work closely with psych patients in a locked acute care facility five days a week.  During that time, I assess their nutritional needs, and give nutrition education classes.

In one class last week, I met a patient who got to talking about his love of Chai tea.  Well, I love it too, only Chai Green Tea by Stash.  I promised him a tea bag last Friday, and when I learned he was being discharged today, decided to make good on my promise.

Only one little problem - he was discharged early this morning, before I had a chance to see him.  Oh well, I told myself, sometimes things work out that way and I put the tea bag back in my lab coat pocket and went about my duties.

On one of the units, a nurse was sick, and I decided to give her the tea bag.  So when I bumped into the social worker for that unit, I gave her the tea bag with instructions to give it to the nurse.  As we were leaving the administration building after a meeting, I hear this voice call out: "Hey, you owe me some tea!"

Sure enough, there stood the discharged patient, back to pick up some belongings.  I turned to the social worker, plucked the tea off her clip board, and handed it to the patient.  He was shocked that I remembered him, and that I remembered the tea.

Seriously, what are the chances that I would see this patient in the administration building at exactly this time?  Not very good.  I visit the administration once a day, and that time varies.

G-d wanted this young man to have that tea, and He wanted me to give it to him. I love when that happens!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kindred Spirit

Pesach just ended, leaving me with a cold and the satisfaction of having read a wonderful book.  Kindred, written by Octavia Butler, is set in the modern era (1976) and the antebellum South, a time-travel saga that was hard to put down.

Written in 1979, somehow I missed this novel, which pits Dana, a 20th century black woman, against unknown forces that transport her to 19th century Maryland, to a plantation just in time to save the white master's son.  Over and over again.

Through Dana, and Butler's cast of characters, we get a taste, frightening no less, of slavery in America.  As a Jew whose family was safe on America's shores by 1924, I missed dual Holocausts - one against black slaves in this country, and the other, more well known, to Jews in Europe.  As Dana mentioned between trips through time, it appears the Germans learned a lot from 19th century slave owners.

Perfect reading for a holiday dealing with slavery and redemption.  While I played no part in America's horrific past, I cannot help but feel guilty that it happened at all.  And more than a bit ashamed.

I did not seek out this book.  I found it on the "New Book" shelf, and liked the time travel aspect.  In the end, I found the eye opener about slavery, and all its evils, the most redeeming quality of all.